How Do You Manage Data From Social Networks?

(Feb 25, 2009) There’s no question that social networks are a huge part of the future of Recruiting. With roughly 65 Million users in the domestic US, social networks are rapidly becoming the norm. Youth (29 and under) adoption is in the 2/3 range.

Here are the detailed stats (from an analysis based on Pew Research here and here. Stay on top of Pew’s Research):

  • users aged 12-14: 5,560,749* (45% of total population 12-14: 12,357,222)
  • users  aged 15-17: 8,331,631* (65% of total population 15-17: 13,018,174)
  • users aged 18-29: 34,251,555* (67% of total population 18-29: 51,121,724)
  • users aged 30-39: 8,599,930* (21% of total population 30-39: 40,952,050)
  • users aged 40+: 8,235,988*,** (6% of total population 40+: 137,266,473)
  • # Total users (excluding ages less than 12): 64,979,853 (+/- ~4,000,000)

Barely over five years old, the social networking phenomenon is the communications vehicle of choice for people under 30.

These days, there’s no shortage of tools and trainers who help you find individuals of interest in the various sites. Learning to do search in these pools of people is an important skill for the next phases of recruiting. Sadly, though, little has been done to

  1. Proceduralize the maintenance of data discovered in social networks;
  2. Coordinate and integrate the disparate email systems;
  3. Automate the organization and tagging of individual relationships; and,
  4. Introduce the various members of a talent pool to each other.

People are using spreadsheets, bulk email programs, Outlook and bastardized CRM systems to try to get their arms around the problem. Over and over again, the new sources encounter the time honored problems with recruiting tools. Data rot, that horrible decay of your time investment, is standard in most approaches to developing data from social networks.

The weird thing here is that each social network depends on the members updating their own information. The members of our industry, busily reinventing the wheel, are currently unable to take advantage of the greatest strength of the social network phenomenon…user generated content.


I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendfeed. Catch up with me.

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